Ignatieff defeated

Academic-writer-tv presenter turned Canadian MP, Michael Ignatieff, has been defeated in his bid for the leadership of the Liberal party, Canada’s natural party of government. Ignatieff had pushed for a more liberal approach to Quebec, stuck to his support of Canada’s increasing unpopular presence in Afghanistan and was critical of past Liberal governments. Another academic turned politician, Quebecer Stephane Dion, came from fourth to take 54% in the final ballot. Dion is known for his pro-environmental stance and hardline on Quebec separatism.

  • PP

    I was in Canada during the General election last year. It seemed to me that no matter who was leading the Liberals they were going to have to set about transformation to get re-elected anytime soon, not unlike the position the Conservative Party in the UK has beeen in since 1997.

  • jamesonandwater

    There’s an interesting & entertaining thread on the leadership election over here. Personally, I’m glad that Ignatieff lost, although Dion makes even Harper seem charismatic. Will be interesting to see how the environmental issue plays out, my sense is that it’s enormously important to a lot of people over here. But what do I know, I’m relatively new to Canada.

  • Rory

    >i>”…the Liberal party, Canada’s natural party of government.

    Yes… social Darwinianism is alive and thriving yet in some mends at least I see.

  • Rory

    Minds not mends. Apologies for failure to edit.

  • fair_deal


    My someone hasn’t had their coffee this morning.

    In the 20th Century Liberals were the party of government for approximately 71 years which makes the description “natural party of government” a reasonable description.

  • Rory

    Presumably that means that the Communist Party is the natural party of government in Russia on the basis of longevity in power in the 20th century.

  • joeCanuck

    no Rory because they were never elected.

  • Rory

    Oh yes they were, Joe. The electoral system was democratic centralism and gave the electorate just about the same control over policy and personalities as did capitalist democracy – that is to say, very little indeed.

  • joeCanuck

    Democracy in action:
    From Elections in communist party states by Alex Pravda:
    the electors were not given much choice: the electoral ballot paper always contained only one name, and an unmarked ballot was interpreted as support for the candidate. To vote against the candidate required the paper to be marked and a secret voting booth used to ensure secrecy. In practice, the use of a voting booth by an elector was itself an expression of dissent, as a supporting vote did not need the use of the booths. Around one to five percent of the electorate used booth in the 1960s and 70s, with the number of opposing votes rarely exceeding 0.5%, mostly directed against locally unpopular individuals. Only at the lowest level did such votes have a chance of having any significant effect; in the Soviet Union circa 1970, about one in ten thousand candidates at village level was defeated.

  • WhosToryNow?

    Democracy in Canada. Liberals elected to repeal GST, they don’t. Liberals promise to defend traditional marriage, they don’t.
    but seriously why is this story blog worthy?

  • Rory

    Democracy in action

    Thanks for the civic lesson, Joe. Democratic centralism in the USSR, whereby power comes from active participation, open discussion and delegation of representatives of the policy derived at via that discussion was very much as capitalist democracy is, i.e. terrificly appealing in principle but the practice was lamentable. It did take power from the exclusive grasp of the landlords and the capitalist class but it did not turn it over to the masses. Much as capital in its democracy retains all power (and increasingly all political representation as with the New Labour coup) and the masses are left powerless. Labour has effectively no organised political voice in the UK parliament whatsoever now, just as in the USA. It would be ridiculous to suggest that I, a UK citizen have the same rights and access to law as, for example, Rupert Murdoch or any Emirate’s sheikh who are not even citizens.

    But then, just as in the USSR, we expect our politicians to be corrupt, to act firstly in the interests of their paymasters and we simply do not trust them. However as long as the children don’t starve it would seem madness to seriously oppose them. They do have the monopoly on armed violence after all and access to whatever laws they care to impose to justify its use.